Guidelines for Contributors

Editor: Stefano Prato (
Associate Editor: Arthur Muliro Wapakala (
Editorial Assistant: Kitt Bohn-Willeberg (

Development is published as a quarterly journal in March, June, September and December by Palgrave Macmillan UK (now Springer Nature) on behalf of the Society for International Development (SID). For more information and to access Journal content, please visit:

Structure of the Journal

Each issue of Development has a thematic focus and most of the articles are commissioned and refereed by subject specialists. Each Journal issue is normally comprised of 12-15 articles organized in accordance to the following sections:

  • Upfront: It includes the Editorial, the Guest Editorial (in case of Guest Editorship) and 2-3 key articles that frame the thematic issue;
  • Thematic Section: It normally includes 3-5 articles that address different key aspects of the issue which is addressed by the Journal. These tend to be articles that somehow dive into the issues and might be longer in length and feature greater depth of analysis;
  • Dialogue Section: It normally includes 3-5 articles and is meant to capture the diversity of opinions and perspectives on the issues being addressed. If the previous section looks for depth, this section looks for breadth and therefore features diverse views on the issues as well as capture thoughts by constituencies and social groups which might often be in margins of the debate;
  • Local/Global Encounters: It normally includes 3-4 articles and enables some space for country cases or specific/localized issues that somehow highlight the global within the local and vice versa;
  • Unplugged: New section starting with Volume 61. It allows for the inclusion of 1-2 unsolicited articles that, while being accepted for publication, may not be related to the thematic issue. It allows the Journal to publish unsolicited material without having to wait for a thematic issue on the topic;
  • Book Reviews, Book Shelf, Window on the World; Who’s Who Last Word: Short sections managed by the editorial team.

While consolidated over time, this structure is not fixed and can be flexibly interpreted and adapted to the circumstances of each Journal issue.


Most Journal articles are solicited to selected authors. However, a call for papers is published on the Journal website for each thematic issue with a deadline for abstracts and, once approved, for full articles. Additionally, unsolicited articles may be accepted (mostly for the ‘Unplugged’ section of the journal) after review by an external referee. A review process undertaken by Editor, Guest editor (if appropriate) and members of the Editorial Board will determine if the article is to be published. Please note that the Journal enjoys a large and diversified readership interested primarily in the policy angle of selected themes. The Journal does not therefore publish excessively technical articles. Please find below details of the house style and copyright information.
Unless otherwise stated, Thematic Articles should not exceed 4,500 words including references. Dialogue articles should not exceed 3,500 words and Local/Global Encounters ones 2,500 words. The length of Unplugged articles may differ but could never exceed 4,500 words. Authors are invited to observe the word limit. Unsolicited articles that do not conform with word limits will not be considered.
Articles should be sent as attachments (Word or Open Document Text format) to accompanied by the following information:

  • Title of the article, author(s)’ full name(s) with indication of corresponding author in case of co-authorship, including position and affiliation, physical address, telephone and e-mail address for each of the authors;
  • Max 100-word biographical note of each of the authors;
  • Max 5-line abstract;
  • 5-7 keywords to describe the article (other than words featuring in the title);
  • A conflict of interest statement, indicating that the contribution is free from any conflicts of interest, including all financial and non-financial interests and relationships.

This information will be used while preparing the article, for the Who’s Who section and for follow-up on the journal’s publication.
Articles should be submitted in English. Special care will be taken to edit articles submitted by authors whose first language is not English.

Editorial process for both solicited and unsolicited articles

Once the draft article is submitted, the corresponding author will receive an acknowledgement and, unless major changes are necessary, a review and light editing will be carried out by the Editor and Guest Editor to ensure that the article is clear and coherent and all references are adequately included. An initial copy-editing will also be completed. If necessary and appropriate, this will be followed by a review process by selected members of the Editorial Advisory Board. At this stage, the corresponding author will receive the edited version of the article (both revision format and clean version) for his/her review (unless edits were of minor relevance).
Once the editorial process is complete, the article will be sent to production at Palgrave Macmillan. There, it will undergo another round of copy-editing and typesetting, and will then be shared with the corresponding author for final review through the e.Proofing system. Authors will be sent an URL which is valid only until the article is published online. The link is for proof purposes only and may not be used by third parties. The system will show an HTML version of the article that authors can correct online. In addition, authors can view/download a PDF version of the proof for their reference.
As authors review the proofs, they are invited to please keep the following in mind:

  • This is the only set of proofs they will see prior to publication;
  • Only errors introduced during production process or that directly compromise the scientific integrity of the paper may be corrected at this stage;
  • Any changes that contradict journal style will not be made;
  • Any changes to scientific content (including figures) will require editorial review and approval.

Upon publication of the article, authors will receive a printed copy of the journal and a PDF of their article. In addition, authors are encouraged to join the SID Forum launch, and to suggest names of people and institutions whom should receive a copy of the journal, with a view to subscription. SID invites authors to subscribe to the journal and to register on the Palgrave Macmillan/Springer Nature website to receive the free table-of-contents alerting service – e-alerts – by e-mail.

House Style

Please respect the following indications to minimize editing:

  • Please write in a clear and accessible style, free from jargon and specialized technology. Essential technical terms should be defined, and acronyms spelt out when used for the first time;
  • Please use non-sexist language, e.g. ‘chairperson’ not ‘chairman’, ‘humankind’ not ‘mankind’, ‘they’ not ‘he’, etc.;
  • Sections and levels: Please do not number titles and limit the number sub-headings;
  • Title and main headings: Please mark these in bold text. Use initial capital letters for important words before any colon but for only the first word after the colon, e.g. The Politics of Aid: A new framework for development cooperation;
  • Sub-headings: Please mark these in bold and italic text. Use lower case after the first word, e.g. Conclusions and policy implications;
  • Layout: Please do not use complicated systems of indentation. Use bullet points not numbers;
  • Spelling is based on the New Oxford Dictionary of English. Use British English spelling (e.g. neighbour not neighbor, colour not color, etc.), and ‘ize’ ending (e.g. organize not organise, organization not organisation);
  • Use capital letters for North, South, East, West but not northern, southern, eastern, western;
  • Numbers: Please spell out one to twelve, and use figures from 13 onwards. Please give a US dollar (US$) equivalent of other currencies;
  • Percentages: Please spell out ‘percent’ rather than using the symbol %.


Quotations longer than two lines should be indented and do not need quotation marks. Short quotes should be included within the body of the text, marked with single quotation marks.
Quotations should be followed by indication of source with the full stop after the source and not before, e.g.:
The ‘new information society’ has nothing to do with the traditional concept of ‘information’. Today ‘information’ includes many disciplines which – in terms of channels, contents, applications and components – are found in every process in contemporary society (Savio, 2002: 19).
The source should be indicated for all quotes (even very short ones) or any reference made to the work of other writers. Information obtained by means of personal communications should be acknowledged as such.


Explanatory notes should be indicated as numbered footnotes, with reference number inserted following the punctuation of the sentence to which it refers. Authors are invited to use the word processors’ footnotes facilities.


Please use the Chicago-style system for all references:
References to material on the Internet should be given in a footnote, not in the reference list. The full URL should be given as well as the date of access.
Example: (, accessed 15 July 2003)
All references in the text should be listed alphabetically in the References section at the end of the article.


Clearing Permissions. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing through any medium of communication those illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. Authors can add their acknowledgements to the typescript, preferably in the form of an Acknowledgements section at the end of the paper. Credit the source and copyright of photographs or figures in the accompanying captions.
Granting of rights. Authors are required to grant an exclusive publishing licence to SID to publish, reproduce, distribute, display and store the version of the article that has been submitted for inclusion in the Journal in all forms, formats and media whether now known or hereafter developed. However, authors can freely re-use their articles – or parts of their articles - after they have been published in Development, acknowledging Development as the original place of publication. Furthermore, authors will receive a PDF of the article upon publication that they can use for their own distribution purposes. To assist authors in sharing their published articles with colleagues and the wider community, they will also be provided with a special link to their articles. Anyone with the link will be able to access a full-text, view-only version of the article for free and to use Enhanced PDF features such as annotation tools, one-click supplements, citation file exports and article metrics. There are no restrictions on the number of people authors may share this link with, how many times they can view the linked article or where they can post the link online.
More information on Springer Nature’s commitment to content sharing is available here.